A Dog May One Day Walk Again Thanks to the Good Samaritan Fund
On a Sunday morning in October 2012, Tara Johnson and her husband heard their
dog "Juno," a 4-year-old Husky, whimpering several yards from their house. They
ran to find her lying on the ground not moving. Although they couldn't see any
bite marks through her fur, they did see saliva on her neck.
"That would be typical of a wolf attack," said Johnson. "We'd had several wolf
sightings near our house a few months before she was injured."
They immediately drove Juno to a local veterinarian in Lewiston, Idaho. After
viewing the x-rays, the veterinarian told them that the neck vertebrae were out
of line and referred them to the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital. They drove
Juno up that day.
Additional x-rays at WSU confirmed that her neck was fractured and the bones
were out of alignment. Surgery, they were told, was Juno's best option. With the
surgery, the veterinarians gave Juno a 50 percent chance of regaining function
of her limbs. But because of the extent of her injuries, the surgery and
rehabilitation would cost approximately $6000.
For a one income family with three children, this was more than the family could
really afford. Tara's sister started a fundraising website to help raise some
money. Then a friend told Tara about the WSU
"I applied, but we didn't think we'd actually get any money because we were told
that there are lots of applications, but only a small number get funds," said
Johnson. "So we were very grateful when we heard we would receive $1000 to go
toward her surgery. It gave us a little bit of peace of mind that there is hope
in these situations."
After trying all other options, Juno's veterinarians decided surgery was indeed
necessary and they implanted rods and screws to help to stabilize her cervical
vertebrae. A team of WSU neurologists, fourth year veterinary students, and
rehabilitation specialists helped Juno to begin healing.
But she wasn't out of the woods yet. After being home for a few weeks, Juno's
muscles were not lengthening as her veterinarians had hoped and the contracted
muscles limited her range of motion.
"She could barely move her limbs and she was in pain," explained Dr. Adam
Schneider, a WSU neurology resident, who developed a special bond with Juno.
Juno was re-admitted to the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital to provide
rehabilitation including acupuncture, therapeutic ultrasound, and time in
the underwater treadmill. Juno's trust in Dr. Schneider and the rest of Juno's
medical team made it easier to treat her.
"By the end of her stay, she was able to move one front limb and both rear
limbs," said Dr. Schneider. "She could support all her weight temporarily with
assistance, and her pain was controlled without medication."
After a month in the hospital Juno came home. She still could not walk, was on
several medications, and needed to return weekly to Pullman for physical
therapy. Today Tara does the therapy three times a day at home. It could be
several more months, but Tara and Juno's doctors are hopeful that she will be
able to walk again and she is continuing to improve every day.
"Everybody at WSU is amazing and they make you feel like family," said Johnson.
"We are so appreciative. Everyone there is such a hard worker and they touched
all of our lives."
Juno in the hospital
Juno's medical team included:
Dr. Annie Chen-Allen,
Dr. Adam Schneider,
Dr. Kathy Seino,
Dr. Stephanie Thomovsky,
Lori Lutskas, LVT, CCRP,
fourth year student, Trevor Morimoto, and many other WSU veterinary students.